Design and Graphics

Design and graphics are just as important as the written content. Displaying the written content in an easy-to-understand and pleasant way makes all the difference in it's effectiveness.

This section will provide advice and guidance on best practice.

Images and Video

Visual material plays a huge part in how people consume information. It's all about convenience and looking interesting. A fun, informative video or an eye catching image will do a lot more than a large plain paragraph of text. It's always worth thinking if your content can be displayed in a more visual way.

Images can come from a number of places, including stock libraries and your own photos. It's important that you have any relevant permissions to use the imagery, whether that's asking if a person would mind being in the photo and it being used for a particular purpose, or you owning the image for commercial use. More information on photo/video permissions.

Types of software

Depending on the level of the project or design needs you have, you might find that doing the work yourself is easier than you thought!

There are many good resources available online for free photo editing and design production. Most smartphones have built in photo editing that you can use to improve the look of a photo before uploading it to your chosen social media channel(s).

However there are some more in-depth free pieces of software for desktop, that once got to grips with can enable you to produce even more impressive results.

You may find that you already have sufficient software on your PC to create basic layouts for a range of documents Microsoft programmes such as Word and Publisher are quite standard on most PCs and they tend to be user friendly and can produce good looking results to suit your needs.

Templates

Looking at all the available software options may be daunting, however templates are here to help!

Templates are pre-done layouts created for specific software or available online to edit that can then be customised by yourself to make it suitable for what you need it for - but most of the hard work will already be done for you!

Canva is an online website that offers a whole host of various templates for different formats, needs and purposes that you can edit on your web browser and export for use.

As mentioned in the previous section on this page, Microsoft programmes are available to most people if you have a PC and Office also kindly offer a range of templates for their selection of software.

Learning to produce design and graphics is a job by itself, however with these resources readily available, it's worth familiarising yourself with them as you may find it easier than you expected. Have a play with the software you have access too and see what you can create!

Accessibility

Whether you are producing content and visuals for web or print, ticking the boxes of accessibility guidelines is a crucial part of how effective the design is when viewed. Ultimately, it's nice for design to look the part, however it's not fine art and it's purpose is to communicate information.

Gov UK have outlined the do's and don'ts on designing for accessibility which may be worth a read before you get started.